State Cable: 770906 GT-State
(John Victor Stoen)

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[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on PDF]

O 091700Z SEP 77
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5273
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DEPT. PASS ARA/CAR/TUMMINIA

E. O. 11652: N/A
TAG: CASC (STOEN, JOHN)
SUBJECT: W/W: JOHN VICTOR STOEN
REF: (A) STATE 206679 (B) GEORGETOWN 2027

1. Reftel B reported Consul confirmed presence of John Stoen in Guyana.

2. Post has been in frequent contact with U.S. attorney, Jeff Haas. Embassy arranged meeting for Haas with high-level GOG officials including Foreign and Justice Minister and Solicitor General. While GOG appears sympathetic and favorable to Haas snag has developed.

3. Haas accompanied by local court marshall traveled to Jonestown on September 6, to serve process on Jones to appear with Stoen boy in court in Georgetown on Friday, September 9. Haas informed Consul today, September 7, that Jones evaded process by having representative of People’s Temple explain to marshall that Jones had not been in Jonestown for several days. However, Haas claimed he talked with two GOG immigration officers shortly after leaving Jonestown who indicated they had seen Jones earlier

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in the day in his town. Hass is convinced Jones is deliberately evading process and is concerned that his client will lose custody of her son by default because she does not have the financial resources for a lengthy court dispute. Haas indicated Jones apparently cannot be held in contempt of local court if he is not personally served papers.

4. Embassy position on this case has been to provide sympathetic assistance where possible to attorney. Consul declined to accompany Haas to interior on September 6. He believed that this was a matter primarily involving GOG judicial and official presence. He did coordinate Haas’ trip with GOG Commissioner of Police to provide Haas and court marshall with appropriate authority and official support. Consul has informed Haas of requirements of consular service of process as outlined in [illegible word].

5. Consul consulted with local attorney retained by Haas on September 7 who will now request that the court authorize local police official in Northwest District [to] serve court summons. Consul had, earlier on September 7, discussed this procedure with Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who stated it was frequently used by court in view of the distance and difficulty in traveling to the interior.

6. Consul also contacted representative of People’s Temple in Georgetown on September 7 and strongly recommended that Bishop Jones respond to service in order to prevent situation from escalating further. Consul advised representative that if Jones did not respond to summons or appear to evade same this could legally jeopardize his position in Guyana as well as any attempts to retain custody of John Stoen.

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7. Haas believes that Jones will not appear in court and has urged Consul to accompany him to Jonestown to ensure papers are served in the event police are unsuccessful. Haas’ position is that an American mother has been awarded custody of an American child, by competent American judicial authority and he wants an American official of the Embassy (i.e. Consul) to personally assist him to insure Jones’ court appearance. Consul, while recognizing merits of Haas’ case, is still reluctant to place himself in quasilegal position unless all other traditional avenues are exhausted.

8. Action requested: Post would appreciate Department guidance and/or comments regarding our role in this case.

Blacken

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Originally posted on February 4th, 2020.

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